Sun, surf and sunflowers

SunflowersSummertime, and the livin’ is easy….and the Italian Summer is finally here. It’s been a slow to start this year, spoiled by unexpected rainy days that had us pulling out jackets and raincoats. And the forecasts predicts more to come so we are soaking up the sun when we can and outdoor concerts and festivals continue with fingers crossed.Tuscan vineyards

Fields of sunflowers begin to droop their heads, giving way to lush green vineyards dripping with grapes. The colour contrast is striking.

Even politicians still seem to be working, unlike other years when at this time paparazzi splashed them across the newspapers  with overweight bellies bursting out of Hawaiian style shirts, holidaying on fancy yachts in exotic places…probably at tax payers expense! Not a pretty sight and so far not to be seen this year, thank goodness. Our PM had warned that holidays should be brief , as there was lots of work to be done, and advised them to keep a low profile.Rough seas

At the beach, waves crash over the rocks to the delight of kids playing ‘catch me if you can’. Other babes stretch out on the pebbles letting the waves lap over their squealing bodies tugging at their bathers as the tide pulls back. Vernazza beachManarola leap








At Manarola Tarzan hollers  mean another kid has leapt from the rocks heedless of the warnings. And why not, in front of such a crowd of skimpy clad femme fatales, it will be his hero moment!

Manarola marina


The sound of a band wafts up in the still air from Corniglia so I can be lazy enough and enjoy it sitting on my terrace without going down.Pizza al pesto


The minute bar near the waterfront in Vernazza overflows at happy hour time as locals get together, sitting on the steps amidst  the tourist crowds. To eat in peace means waiting for the second sitting when the tourists have left the restaurants and ‘us locals’ move in for a more leisurely meal and natter and the waiters begin to relax and even smile knowing the rush hour has past.Beach relax

In Florence the outdoor program is bouncing with all sorts of events for young and old. Of course my favourite is dancing salsa under the stars near Piazzale Michelangelo, overlooking the city lights – such a romantic setting. I may risk a few squashed toes from some of the high flyers, but it’s worth it.Ponte Vecchio

We have even been blessed with free Musem entrance once a month , an offer which some courageous tourists have taken up only to find themselves waiting in a queue for more than 2 hours. The news reporter did comment that the queue was mostly Italians, which is a sign of the crisis.

In typical Italian fashion, people just hang out in the piazza, group up near the clubs or best gelati shops and wander the historical centre till the air has cooled a little and it’s time to go home.

Vernazza eveningIt’s my favourite time of year.





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